As people seek remedies for problems like mental fatigue and stress, as well as problems with sleep, alternative remedies are increasingly being demanded and recommended for treatments. Essential oils are especially used by and recommended for those dealing with sleep problems such as insomnia or sleep anxiety. However, as much as some essentials oils help with sleep, this article looks at 5 essential oils to avoid for sleep.
Sleep is a basic need for one to function optimally- it is necessary for one to be productive, for general health and wellbeing, for the body’s rejuvenation, as well as mental and physical rest. It is for this reason that many people are seeking ways to help them enjoy better sleep.
Since people are more health conscious about the side effects of conventional drugs, especially when it comes to treating sleep problems, there has been a rise in demand for alternative remedies with essential oils emerging among the most sought after.
What are essential oils?
Essential oils are natural concentrated oils from plants used for their medicinal and therapeutic properties and well as for their sweet scents in balms, soaps, perfumes, soaps, oils, and lotions etc. These oils are referred to as essential oils because the oils are the essence of the plant’s scent.
As a sleeping aid, essential oils are recommended because of their healing properties as well as their ability to calm and relax the mind, which is essential for falling and staying asleep. An active mind cannot sleep. The medicinal, relaxing and therapeutic powers of essential oils have been harnessed for centuries as sleeping aids for both adults and babies, for managing anxiety and insomnia and for sleep apnea relief.
Benefits of essential oils
- Essential oils can improve the quality of sleep one has and can also provide relief for disrupted sleep.
- They help relieve anxiety and stress which are the main hindrance to deep restful sleep, which can help to boost sleep.
- Depression is a major cause reason why so many people cannot sleep at all or sleep well. Essential oils have been shown to deal with depression and depressive symptoms. This has been found to work in both cases where there is depression and anxiety and depression alone.
- Post-partum women who are dealing with anxiety and depression can also find relief in essential oils aromatherapy to reduce stress and the symptoms of depression.
How essential oils work
Essential oils work by influencing the brain area responsible for emotion and memory- the limbic system. The sense of smell is connected to this area of the brain; olfactory cells pick up smells and relay the information to this part of the brain via the olfactory nerve. This is the process by which the essential oils can influence the emotions to be calm and relaxed, by either evoking fond memories or through the effects of the constituent healing and therapeutic properties.
This process is commonly achieved through aromatherapy, where the essential oils are diffused and delivered to the body and brain in the air we breathe. Aromatherapy, a very old practice has in recent decades regained popularity for is healing and soothing effects which are mood-regulating, stress-relieving, sleep-promoting, and pain-reducing.
Essential oils to avoid for sleep
As much as aromatherapy is good for the body, when it comes to essential oils for helping you sleep, not all of them are recommended. Some essential oils will get you relaxed and sleepy while others will do the opposite- they will make you alert and energetic. The latter essential oils are to be avoided close to or at bedtime because if you are exposed to them, you are unlikely to fall asleep fast and some people will be lucky to get any sleep at all.
1. Citrus essential oil
Any essential oil from a citrus plant is not good for sleep because they will get you mentally alert and energetic instead of inducing drowsiness for sleep. Oils from grapefruit, lemon, orange and any other citrus fruit are ultra-energizing for the mind and should be avoided before bed as much as they smell so delicious. This group of essential oils is good for fending off anxiety and for driving out fatigue, thus the effect of being energized as opposed to encouraging sleep.
2. Ginger essential oil
Ginger is a natural stimulant of the body and mind and will invigorate your senses and boost your energy as opposed to relaxing you. Avoid ginger oils if you want to sleep fast and deeply.
3. Peppermint essential oil
Peppermint is an energy booster that will pep you up instead of mellowing you and should not be used for sleep. Peppermint is commonly used in balms and respiratory decongesters, as a muscle and pain reliever and for opening up airways respectively- anyone who has used these products knows that they cannot be sleep after using peppermint.
4. Eucalyptus essential oil
Eucalyptus essential oil acts the same way as the peppermint- it refreshes the mind to clear mental fatigue, cools and stimulates the body. Accordingly, this is not the right essential oil for the calmness one needs to fall asleep.
5. Rosemary Essential Oil
Do not use rosemary essential oil for sleep because it is a brain tonic which will energize the brain instead of getting it to slumber. It is suitable for refreshing the mind and cutting mental fatigue. Use it for mental and physical energy instead.
How to best use essential oils for sleep
- A hot bath or water aromatherapy is another excellent option for using essential oils. Add a few drops of the oil into the hot or warm bath water and inhale it as you wash and soak in a bathtub. In addition to the relaxing effect of a warm bath, the oils will relax your mind for good sleep.
- Diffusing the essential oils into the air is the most used methods; get an essential oil diffuser and then add a few drops of the essential oil. Do this in your bedroom, preferably close to your bed for the best results. Breathe in the oil and enjoy the calming and relaxing effect throughout the night.
- Just like you would do with balms or ointments, applying essential oils topically works well. Apply to the back of the neck and the soles of the feet before you jump into bed.
Essential oils have so many benefits- use them to help you sleep well through the night if you have sleep problems and even if you do not. The medicinal properties are useful for general health and wellbeing as well as for mental and physical relaxation.
Just like flower essences for sleep, benefit from the sweets aromas these oils emit and sleep soundly every night. Their health benefits have been exploited for hundreds of years all over the world and scientific studies and research have backed up their health and therapeutic effectiveness.
We hope you enjoyed the article and you should now know the 5 essential oils to avoid for sleep. Get more insights on essential oils here